Watering a flower garden at a city park

Asked July 11, 2019, 3:44 PM EDT

I've been told to water a flowering garden at a city park by aiming the city water out of a garden hose at the roots of the plants. Before, I was using the garden hose with city water and watering on top of the plants. Someone from the committee for volunteers for this park said that makes the leaves turn brown by watering on the leaves (top down) instead of the roots, especially when the sun comes out. The example that was pointed out to me was a daisy plant, where the leaves were turning brown. These plants do get rain on them, but basically someone has to physically water them every so often. No one gets paid. What's the correct way or does it matter?

Black Hawk County Iowa

1 Response

Watering plants in the early to mid-afternoon does not burn the foliage if the foliage gets wet during the watering process. The myth that water droplets act like tiny magnifying glasses and burn plant leaves has no basis in fact. It's best to avoid watering on sunny afternoons to minimize the amount of moisture lost to evaporation, but don't worry about leaf scorch.

Early morning is the best time to water the garden when using a sprinkler, garden hose, or any other device that wets the plant foliage. When watering is completed, the plant foliage dries quickly. The rapid drying of plant foliage helps guard against the development of fungal diseases. Additionally, a morning application allows the water to soak deeply into the soil with little water lost to evaporation.

Watering in the evening with a sprinkler or garden hose can lead to greater disease problems as the plant foliage will likely remain wet throughout the night.